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You Can't Gamble For Love

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The Carraways was ecstatic when they gave birth to their son. They were known for their ability to produce Alphas, but from the moment he could talk, it seemed that that would not be the case this time.

Nick was a quiet young boy, shy and soft-spoken. He preferred reading indoors as opposed to the loud, rough sports the other boys participated in. They'd enrolled Nick into a small school, created for the purpose of teaching young Alphas just how to be, well, Alphas.

Nick presented much later than other boys, so late that his schoolteachers thought perhaps he had a sickness, and they isolated him from his classmates. When he did present, it was much to the disappointment of his parents and teachers, because it was as they'd feared- their Nicky was an Omega.

He'd been pulled from school, and his parents hired a private tutor for him. They were mortified when his first heat began, but Daisy, doll that she was, had brought him water and made sure no one entered his room. Daisy herself was an Omega, so they grew close through their teen years. She stayed a watch outside his door through his heats, and kept him hydrated, as long he did the same for her. They gossiped constantly about the type of person they each hoped to marry, but it seemed only Daisy would be attracting any Alphas. She was, after all, beautiful, while Nick was only average-looking. His theory about them was proven correct the older they got, especially when Daisy announced she was getting married to Tom Buchanan, a wealthy and respectable Alpha. Nick had met him in college after giving up on ever entering the military. He was extremely attractive, although surely even Daisy had to admit his personality left something to be desired. Nick was almost sure that her mother had convinced her to do it, which Nick thought was rather sad, because Daisy had often whispered to him about a kind and handsome young man, an Alpha that she couldn't marry only because he'd left for war, and she couldn't wait that long, not for someone who wasn't wealthy. It wouldn't do for her to marry lower than herself. Nick didn't attend the wedding.


When I moved to New York, I got the sense that the people in my town were happy to see me go. I'd always been a bit of an embarrassment to my family, the only Omega in a family of Alphas and strong willed Betas, and while they kissed me goodbye a little tearily, I felt they were tears of relief. Unfortunately, my financial situation wasn't the greatest, and even if it had been, many realtors in New York didn't seem to willing to cater to an Omega anyway. In the end, I ended up in what passed for a house, but looked more like a shack compared to the gorgeous mansion that spread out next door. I could see the fine line where the decaying grass of my yard met the well kept lawn of my neighbor's, and there was no doubt in my mind the house belonged to some prestigious Alpha and his family. I just prayed that whoever it was had a mate and was loyal to them, because although the mansion itself was so far away you'd almost need a car, I didn't want to deal with some asshole hanging around my door every few months.

I went to visit Daisy and Tom after I'd finally settled, making sure to figure out a date with Daisy that we would both be able to handle, since Daisy had told me to let myself have a few days to make sure the move hadn't messed with my cycle (I'd always been sensitive to things like that, too much stress always messed with me). I took a taxi over, only after fixing my clothing and hair multiple times before deciding it wasn't about to get any better, and I might as well go as I was, or just not go at all. I was constantly checking my hair in the reflection on the window, until the driver informed me that it was fine. I bit back a scowl at my own reflection.

Daisy's house was huge, and I figured that it had to have come from Tom, because Daisy probably would have been content in the same sized house as mine. Tom greeted me on the front step, sweaty from some sports game or another (I had never cared much for Tom's sports), and he slung his arm around my shoulders. I promptly tilted my head away from Tom, for he reeked, both from sweat and the fact that Tom's scent had never been a pleasant one. Once I stepped into the house, however, I found myself surprised, because there was another scent to rival Tom's, a softer and sweeter one that I much preferred, and one that was fainter, but that I recognized well. Daisy practically floated into the room, her skirt sweeping the floor and a smile big enough to dwarf the size of the room.

"Nicky!" Her voice was even sweeter than it had been over the phone, and she swept me up into her arms. She'd always somehow been a bit stronger than me, and I found myself gasping for breath before she finally let go. "Oh, Nicky!" She cried, dragging me into the sitting room, "I've missed you so dearly! How are they fairing without me back home?" I felt a smile creep onto my face. I'd missed Daisy's shimmering personality, brighter than a thousand stars and glamorous enough to match her style.

"They absolutely weep in the streets over you," I answered. I found myself being pushed onto a sofa, alongside the source of the unfamiliar scent. A young woman, Daisy's age, dressed in shorts and a tight shirt, her hair back in a loose ponytail, turned her attention to me.

"So. You're the Nick Daisy's been gushing about seeing." She took a sip of her drink, and I gave a shy nod. I'd met a few Alphas, usually within my own family or someplace they were unavoidable, but I'd had yet to meet one that was a girl. She smiled, and I relaxed almost instantly. She seemed much kinder than Tom, and I wondered if that was why Daisy seemed so calm. "I'm Jordan," she added, extending a hand. I took it almost immediately and shook it.

"Nick," I told her, "but Daisy's been calling me Nicky since we were kids, even though I told her I really didn't like it, and-" I continued on like that for a while, prattling about nothing in particular, and I stopped upon seeing the amused smile on Jordan's face. I'd become all too aware that I was rambling, and that Daisy had probably already told her this if she'd been 'gushing' about me, and suddenly all I could think about was the terrible heat in my cheeks. I dropped Jordan's hand at once, my gaze falling to my knees.

"Well then, Nick, seems like you could use a drink!" Tom's voice boomed throughout the room as he clapped a solid hand on my shoulder, the other hand waving for a butler to get me something to drink. I was once again unfortunately assaulted by the awful scent of Tom, and thought bitterly on how best to burn clothing so that it may never reek again. Daisy flashed me an almost apologetic smile, for she knew of my disliking of Tom, although even if she'd agreed to simply meet me for lunch, that awful stench would have followed her. Tom, fortunately, seemed to think that Daisy's smile was a loving one, meant for him, so he crossed the room to kiss her forehead. She turned her head to smile at him for real this time, and I turned my head away. As much as I disliked Tom, I would not say I hated him. But I most definitely hated the mark on Daisy's neck. It stood out awfully, as though it hadn't been cared for at all when it was made, and it bitterly reminded me that Daisy could have had anyone else if not for ridiculous tradition forced upon her by her mother. I found myself surprised for what had to have been the third time that day to find that Jordan had turned her head away with a pain in her eyes, although I couldn't possibly fathom why, unless she too thought that the mark was sloppy and disapproved immensely of Tom as well. If that was the case, then she and I would get on wonderfully.

As it turned out, Jordan played golf professionally, the only person I had met that could actually beat Daisy (although Daisy was spoiled, and I had to admit that I'd led a bit of a sheltered life). Jordan was kind enough, and I found that in fact, she did dislike Tom immensely, although she wouldn't tell me why. I assumed it was simply that he was a male Alpha, and she was a woman, or something along those lines. It was hard to think when I could smell Tom's stink from across the room.

"So, Nicky, how are you doing in that new house of yours? Where is that anyway?" I turned my attention to Daisy, who had leant forward, elbows on her knees. Tom voiced that he didn't know I had moved, which I ignored.

"Ah, it's over on West Egg. Next to some mansion, but I haven't met who lives there." Jordan made a noise of surprise.

"Oh? That must be Gatsby. He throws the best parties, you know." Daisy snorted, a sound I hadn't expected. I furrowed my eyebrows and Jordan hummed. "I suppose she's right. Mostly Betas and Alphas go, it's not necessarily a scene you should probably find yourself at." I looked away. It appeared I'd been right, my neighbor was an Alpha after all. Daisy sat straight up.

"Maybe you should go, Nicky!" She had a bright look in her eyes. "Maybe you'd finally meet someone!" My face warmed. I don't know why I felt so embarrassed, there was no need for anyone to mention that I was single to Jordan, I smelled of no Alpha, and I had no mark of my own. "Oh, you'd love that! You could finally have a boyfriend, Nicky!" My face heated further. Perhaps it was obvious I had no mate of my own now, but I did not see it necessary for Daisy to point out that I'd never been with anyone. Ever.

"D-Daisy!" Jordan laughed as my voice cracked, and Tom gave a low chuckle before the butler offered me another drink. I downed it faster than I probably should have. "Perhaps I should- perhaps I should head on home..." Daisy gave a cry of anguish, as though I'd stabbed her rather than suggest I head home.

"Won't you stay Nick? Daisy did miss you so." Jordan put a hand on my shoulder and Tom moved past me to answer the phone, and suddenly I felt dizzy. Perhaps I was in over my head, in Tom's house, overwhelmed by both his stench and by the intoxicating scent of Jordan, and I stood, but the floor swayed beneath my feet, and the floorboards seemed far too close, and then I found myself on the balcony, leaning half on the railing and half on Daisy, and all I could smell was the salt of the bay. I found that I could see Gatsby's house across the bay, and thought faintly of Jordan's comment that he threw magnificent parties, and wondered if Tom and Daisy could see them from here.

"I think perhaps I should go home," I repeated. As much as I had missed Daisy, and the comfort I drew from her as someone who didn't look down on me, I felt a sudden urge to be home immediately. The horrific thought that perhaps being in this house with two Alphas, combined with the stress of moving, had been too much for me. Daisy and I had decided that four days was enough space between now and when my heat should start up, but maybe we were wrong.

"Nicky, are you sure? It's just stuffy in there, is all, are you s-"

"Daisy!" I gave her the same look I'd give her across dance floors during parties when we'd been careless and forgotten that I was nothing like those in attendance. She immediately looked concerned, and practically dragged me through the house.

"Daisy, doll, what's the matter? How's-" Tom cut himself off, narrowing his eyes ever-so-slightly at me, the way he did when he first figured out I was- well, wasn't like him. My breath hitched and my heart leaped into my throat. One of Tom's only talents was picking up on either Daisy or mine's heats before it even hit us hard. Jordan, if she noticed, bless her, made no move. Daisy knew that Tom noticed, and she ushered me to the door faster. Tom was terrible at being faithful, so why Daisy stayed with him I'll never know, but although he'd never made a move on me, Daisy had never allowed Tom near me during my heats, just in case.

"Nicky has to go home now." It seemed to click with Jordan, and she stood.

"I'll take him." She seemed determined, and although a small flash of fear rushed through me at the thought of an Alpha escorting me the distance all the way home, Daisy nodded. She handed me off to Jordan as though we'd all been friends for years, which I suppose they had, and Jordan made a point of not doing any more than touching my elbow, guiding me outside and to a car. Apparently she had her own, and she helped me in. I felt dizzy still, but less so now that I was away from the awful stink of Tom. She drove in silence, keeping the radio off. I leaned against the window and watched the scenery go by.

I barely made it to my front door before I collapsed.


My week passed as uneventfully as it possibly could, with the blinds drawn and the doors locked. If anyone called, I never answered it. The last day, for whatever reason, seemed to pass quickly, and that evening I received an invitation from a kind enough looking butler. He informed me that Mr Gatsby wished to see me at his party that weekend. I'd accepted and told him I'd be there. The butler had given no second thought to the fact that I was dressed in nothing but a robe, had merely nodded before walking back down my driveway. I glanced down at the invitation. It was signed by the man himself, in beautiful script that suggested years of training sloppy handwriting out, 'Jay Gatsby'. Jay, a lovely name. In some clouded moment of judgement, I held the card up to try and get an idea of his scent through the paper, as though that would tell me the kind of person he was, as though that wasn't a ridiculous idea, as though that was something a normal person did. I almost expected it to be sickening, like Tom, or overly pleasant, like Jordan, but somehow it was right in the middle, a perfect medium. It seemed that my heat had not passed, after all.


Jay Gatsby's house seemed to be a very popular place, and I wove my way through the crowd, locating a butler and flashing my invitation. He gave me no second look, and I was pushed into the house with everyone else. I was drowning in a sea of people, and somehow I'd made it to the back lawn with everyone else. People danced, swam, drank, and laughed. The music was loud, it had to be to be heard over the roar of the crowd. I found that I didn't recognize anyone, and was upset with myself for thinking that I would. I'd just moved, and knew a grand total of three people. A hand touched my elbow, soft and gentle, but insistent. I turned and was met with the smiling face of Jordan, who seemed to pleased to have found me here. I was grateful for a friendly face and a friendly scent, because with everyone drinking and kissing and whatnot, it seemed they had no control over themselves, which I found not only irritating, but mildly disorienting. Daisy had always teased me for being overly sensitive to things like that, especially when she could barely understand when I told her Tom stunk, and part of me wished she was here to tease me now. Jordan seemed to anticipate my question, because she gave me a sympathetic smile.

"She's not here. Omegas don't usually come. I was surprised to see you, actually!" Her face broke into a grin, as though I were some wild person, so unlike my cousin, content in her home life. I shook my head rapidly and held up the signed card.

"I- I was invited, actually." Jordan adopted a face like she'd been slapped by a lifelong friend, but it was gone as quickly as it came. "Have you seen him? Mr Gatsby?" Jordan pulled that same odd face, but she shook her head. She said something, but someone bumped into me and spilled a drink, and I pulled away from her too quickly to hear it. A butler noticed and reacted before I could, by my side and leading me in. I wondered if the parties were always like this, people spilling drinks and butlers leading people inside to help dry them off, or if somehow I was special before ever even meeting my host. Jordan seemed mildly upset at this, but she made no move to stop me from being pulled away. I was led into a back room, an unoccupied one, and I was immediately refreshed by the same tantalizing scent I'd pressed to my face only days ago. The butler handed me a towel and looked me over, quietly asked my measurements and took his leave, returning shortly with a nice shirt that looked like it would fit me nicely. Upon trying it on, I found that it smelled only of laundry detergent, and for that I was grateful, because the butler had taken my own shirt, and I wasn't sure if I could carry that scent with me all night.

The butler had waited outside, apparently, because he intercepted me as I walked off. He asked me in a soft voice to follow him, and because I could think of nothing better going on in the heat of the party, I did. He took me to an elevator, with which I was impressed, because I had never thought a house could be so big it needed an elevator. We rode up in silence, partially because I could think of nothing to say, and partially because I could not decide whether or not that would be appropriate to strike up a conversation with the butler. The elevator doors opened, and the butler gestured to the door at the end of the hall, but made no move to escort me. I stepped out and turned to look at him.

"What am I-" But he didn't hear my question fully, because the doors closed. I didn't like the idea of not knowing who was behind that door, especially when I had somehow found myself as the only Omega at a party full of people who would willingly fuck me senseless, and definitely knowing some would not ask first. However, I less liked the idea of being in the hallway alone, so I made my way to the door, and I knocked. A voice approved my entrance, and so I opened the door slowly. This room smelled stronger than any of the rest, and at the window, half turned to me, holding a drink and watching the party below like some silent god, was a gorgeous young man. He turned to me, his face breaking out into a grand smile.

"Hello, old sport," he greeted, "the name's Gatsby, Jay Gatsby."